I'm a little unusual in terms of miniature wargamers and perhaps a bit of an abomination. See, I prime before I assemble. I know, I know. Freakish. I prime my sprues after a light washing. I then paint each piece (head, body, legs, arms, weapons, should pads, backpack, accessory, etc) separately. After each piece if fully painted, it is then assembled.
This bites me in the butt at times. I lack the ability to pre-pose the models before the final assembly. Also, the super glue I use can sometime fog the models and mess up the paint. I work around this by using very little glue and always setting the modle in a well-ventelated area. Speaking of super glue, when painting before assembling, you have to scrape off the paint of each surface before you glue.
Despite all this, ALL THIS, I still choose to paint then assemble. Why, you might ask? Because it lets me paint every surface as easily as the front of the model. That might seem like a small thing, but it is important to me. I've had people tell me that they do not care if the inside of a bolter is unpainted but that aint my bag. It drives me nuts to try to paint under something or around corners. Having any primer showing in out of the way areas makes me feel like I'm phoning it in.
Another minor advantage (that some might not see as an advantage) is that I can assembly line and stockpile certain bits like shoulder pads, heads and arms. At any moment, I can assemble 2-5 models of almost any army with very little effort.
|I'm on pins and needles|
The legs, torso, arms and weapons are all finished and assembled after painting. I am working on the heads now and you can see my technique. I use my pin vice to drill a small hole in the bit. Then I use lineman's pliers to insert a sewing needs into the hole after applying a little super glue. I have to be careful at how hard I push as, the needle can sometimes come out the other side if I drilled too deep or press to hard.
If I have to do something that leaves the paint wet like washing or working with slow-drying metallic paints, I stick the needle in yellow tac to keep it from falling down.
Yellow tac is also useful for attaching shoulder pads to tiny sticks (de-fuzzed q-tips work well) for easy painting.